Shapeless Shadows

Carson's Hill 

A photography site online had mentioned going out during October to photograph the 'creepiest' places in the area. It recommended the trip as a way to practice lighting shots and maybe make a nice deal with some publishers who were chomping at the bit for spooky content.

Practice and money sounded like excellent motivators to Amber. A deep dive into the most haunted areas in town pulled up a decent list and right on top was a literal mansion left to ruins. She had plenty of experience sneaking onto private property back in California, it might not be the case here since the place was pretty much abandoned, but just in case she made sure to park around the corner for a quick get-away.

A warm jacket zipped up to her chin, Amber meandered through the site, snapping a few pictures here and there. For such a grand house falling apart, it was still impressive. The overgrown vegetation gave everything a wild look. Cracked statues littered the garden and the air buzzed with a static energy. Amber pulled her arms closer to her body, snapping a picture of the entrance.

Should she try going inside? A few thrill seekers had mentioned spending the night, only most hadn't lasted due to becoming terrified of strange noises coming from both inside and outside the house. Shivering from another chill, she remained at the front, staring up at the widows. There was something so creepy about this place.

She picked the camera back up and squinting through the viewfinder, took another shot of the window glass cracked like a spiderweb.


Natasha had been feeling a bit out of it lately, like really out of it. She seemed to be perpetually stuck in a hung over state, noises seeming louder than normal, smells stronger than they had been before. She hadn't worried about it the first few weeks, but going a month in now, it was obvious something was up... She just really wasn't sure what at this point. This is why, instead of wallowing at home, she buried herself in her work. Distractions were key in these sort of situations after all.

Walking aimlessly about, she had no real leads today on what story to conjure up, but she was sure if she walked around long enough, something would have to come up. Boot heels clacking on pavement, brown eyes caught sight of the girl, body automatically turning her way as the curly haired wonder made her way over.

Pictures were a sure sign that something had to be up, or was up by the look of the house, and one could never tell if a story was worth listening to unless they asked first. "So what are we taking pictures of exactly?" The house looked pretty abandoned to her, definitely not some realtor trying to make their next sale.

Amber must of jumped half a foot in the air, nearly dropping her camera which would have made her cry. She must have really been lost in her craft if someone could easily sneak up on her like that. To be fair, Amber wasn't the most observant person on the planet, so this other girl didn't have to try too hard.

She let out a laugh, holding a hand against her chest. "Oh my God, you totally scared me." Her first impression when finally turning to face the girl was of her outfit. Eyes widening a little at the colorful fabric tail.

"Sweet outfit, but aren't you cold?" Weather forecast had it in the 40s with a wind chill.

A little voice reminded her that the girl had asked her something earlier, but that wasn't important right now, this clothing ensemble needed to be discussed ASAP.

Natasha didn't bother holding back the giggles that erupted from her throat as the girl jumped, taking a step back as the female turned to her, offering laughter of her own. Lacing her hands behind her back, Natasha leaned forward ever so slightly, grin making its way to her face. "Really? I couldn't tell by the way you jumped." She joked, before straightening back up as the stranger mentioned the cold.

In normal cases this sort of chill would have been more than uncomfortable for her even with her growing up in the ever chilly London. Recently however, it was nothing more than a bit irritating, and not completely unbearable, yet another strange thing having happened to her as of late. Waving her hand in soft denial Natasha shook her head. "Thanks, and a bit, but its all in the name of fashion my friend."

It wasn't the best of answers, but it would have to do for now, and perhaps a quick subject change could brush it all under the rug. "So back to my question. Why the house?"

She let her eyes linger a little longer on the dress, the fabric must be thicker than it looked for the girl wasn't shivering as you'd expect. How Amber envied those with strong circulation.

While Amber would be fine to continue discussing the interesting dress, the girl's soft dismissal was enough to turn her attention back to the original question. She lifted up her camera, displaying its lovely craftsmanship for all to see, and with her other hand pointed back at the window she'd just been admiring.

"I'm doing a photography project. Taking photos of the spookiest parts of town. Heard about this really cool abandoned house and well, here I am." So far, things were even better than expected. Lots of great shots that would fill her blog and maybe interest some of her contacts

Smiling again, she lowered her arm. "I'm Amber by the way." The house was begging to be further explored, but Amber would never turn down the opportunity to meet new people.

Ah, photography, the close cousin to journalism and something that always peaked her interest. Eyes glancing over the camera, Natasha could not help but smile at how proud the girl seemed of it. She supposed that was a good quality to have as a photographer, and as the girl explained her reasons for this house being the subject of her art, Natasha gave a few soft nods.

"Ah I see." She hummed, offering her own name as Amber gave her own. "Natasha."

Eyes glancing back towards the house, the smile grew on her face. "I bet you'd get some creepier shots inside. Wanna go?"

Her eyes grew big. "Yes! I was getting the courage up to go inside just seconds ago." Amber hopped in place once and turned back to the house, taking a few big steps up the stone walkway. She peered back at Natasha, already impatient to head inside.

She forced herself to stay put until her new companion could join her. "I should warn you, there are a ton of stories online about how haunted this place is." The seriousness of her words did not match the excited look on her face. A paranormal experience would be fantastic in Amber's eyes.

Hopefully Natasha agreed.

As the girl hopped in place out of pure excitement, Natasha could feel her body doing much of the same, overcome by Amber's personality, heck even that strange thing in the back of her mind was getting excited. At the girls warning, Natasha waved a hand of dismissal. "I live to find out if stories are true. I'm a journalist after all." She responded with a wink, before racing in front of the photographer, hand already on the handle to the house. "Now what are we waiting for." And with that she was bursting into the house, the sound of the door opening oddly loud when compared to the silence that lay within.

Oooh, a journalist? Amber was delighted. What an awesome coincidence and perfect for a little investigation into the possible hauntings of the abandoned mansion. Amber would provide the photographic evidence and the lovely Natasha could write up a nice little piece on how friendly (or unfriendly) the resident ghosts were.

Not one to be left in the dust, she hurried up the rest of the walkway and entered right behind her new friend. "Oh wow." Sunlight illuminated patches of the foyer, highlighting the collection of graffiti scribbled on the walls. A few overturned chairs were piled in the corner, some probably weren't even original to the house.

She raised her camera and took a snapshot of it all, best to record everything while they were inside. "Definitely looks creepy, I bet there's more stuff as we go deeper."

The house was pretty creepy, but not in the 'ghost and ghouls' sort of way. No, Natasha was pretty sure none of that shit exist, but then again she hadn't thought vampires or werewolves had either, and look where they were now. Still, she was pretty sure you were more and likely to see some drug dealers or druggies in this house rather than ghosts.

Eyes wandering the walls, Natasha nodded, making her way deeper into the house down the main hallway. It was quite obvious this house had been abandoned quite some time ago, and if it were to ever be fixed up, well it would require more work than what it was worth. Floorboards creaked with every step, and were those rat dropping she saw? Natasha cringed at the thought.

"Place could definitely use some cleaning up. I feel like I could catch a disease." She called, running a finger along a table, holding a dusty index finger up as proof.

The first room had been a tad disappointing, she'd admit. It was honestly a bit dumb to get her hopes up about actual ghosts and ghouls being real, but if vampires and werewolves existed then why not the undead?

If a few did haunt this house, well they probably wouldn't be out during the daytime. Amber would need to return later, if she wanted the best chance of finding one. The thrill of discovery coursed through her, no wonder so many people became ghost hunters, the feeling was positively addicting.

"Yeah, careful what you touch." Don't want to get like ghost herpes or something.

She paused outside the next entryway. "Let's check out a few more rooms, we're already inside anyway." If it proved unfruitful, they could just leave anyways.

The next room appeared to be another sitting room, more dirt and cobwebs to explore. With only one window, there wasn't enough light to get a good look at the place. Amber aimed her camera and snapped another picture. The room exploded into light for a an instant as the flash went off. "Holy crap." Amber rushed to get out her phone and switch on the flashlight feature. "Come check this out." Her voice dropping to a whisper.

Her arm shook as she focused the light. A scattering of what looked like splintered bones were piled up in one corner of the room.


Grimacing, Natasha wiped the dust off on her dress, picking up some old looking picture frame, a family of four, a mother, father and two twin girls. It screamed 'The Shining' causing Natasha to believe some person had just left it there as a joke or something, because no way in hell would something that creepy actually exist. It was too perfectly placed, after all.

Well, that's what she would have thought if a resounding 'holy crap' hadn't filled her ears, heart picking up speed in an instant as the strange disembodied figure in the back of her mind raised it's head wearily. Rushing into the room Amber had just entered, Natasha's eyes fell upon the pile of bones, illuminated by the light of Ambers phone.

"What in the hell?" Natasha all but whispered, influenced by Amber's own softening voice.

Pulling herself closer, Natasha crouched down next to the bones, hand hovering close, but no exactly touching. "Do you think their human?"

If so, this was going to be both creepy and a great article.

Amber didn't take her eyes off the bones, heart pumping in her ears. They looked liked they'd been here for weeks, possibly months with the amount of dust and grim they had collected.

Natasha's presence eased her nerves, at least she had another breathing human being here with her. And yes, Amber had wished for a ghost, but this was not the undead she asked for, thank you very much.

She crouched down on the floor, hand trembling as she focused the light. "I hope they're not, but I'm not an expert at all." She swallowed, nervous. "Maybe if we find the skull..." Amber's voice trailed off. A human skull would be terrifying to uncover here.

Suddenly worried, she wondered what the protocol was for these things. Should they alert someone about the bones? If they ended up being from an animal, then wouldn't they just look silly? The media loved young women in hysterics, sometimes society sucked.

Although, Amber thought biting her lip, It would be a large animal, looking at the size of these bones.

Natasha's eyes never strayed from the bones, inspecting every inch she could without touching. If they were human bones, no way in hell was she going to get her DNA all over it. She wouldn't do so well in prison, she was much too pretty and too small for such a place, she'd be eaten alive! Gulping, Natasha leaned back onto her heels, glancing towards Amber.

"Alright then." She sighed, placing a hand on the girls shoulder. "Time to get your detective hat on, and maybe find a talking dog, because we have a mystery to solve." She joked, abruptly rising to her feet, head swiveling about as she inspected the rest of the room.

"I don't suspect the skull would be far..." She hummed, pulling out her own phone and flashing her own flashlight on as she moved to the nearest dresser and began peering underneath.

It took far too long for Amber to pull herself away and shine her light anywhere other than the bones. Closing her eyes, she took in a deep breath, centering herself. 1-2-3, she's back and focused. Fist clenched in determination, Amber swung her light to the next corner of the room and marched over to the single window.

Musty drapes had partially collapsed off the support and gathered in a heap. Using the toe of her boot, she carefully lifted away the fabric. "Oh gross." The nearly exposed floor revealed another, smaller heap of bone fragments. One exceptionally long and pale under the artificial light. She turned her head away, calling out. "There's more over here."

There wasn't much under the dresser, just a ton of dust and spiderwebs, and as far as dead things, there were only a few cockroaches and flies. Sighing, she was about to just move on, when something seemed to shine in the corner of her eye from her flashlight. Far in the back corner lay a baggie, and pushing her arm as far as she could, fingers just barely managed to snag it, pulling it closer into her hand and then out from under just as Amber called out.

"Found something myself, but not bones..." She trailed, inspecting said item as she moved to her feet already making her way towards her co-investigator.

Upon closer inspection, it was a syringe and needle, just a bit of crust remained of whatever had been inside it originally before being discarded. "Drugs I think?" Glancing towards Amber, Natasha flashed her light towards where the bones seemed to lay. "Any skull? Or were these bones going to continue to remain a mystery.

She barely registered Natasha's movements, brain only catching on the word 'drugs' which had her head swiveling back around. Eyes landing on Natasha's silhouette, Amber scrunched up her face. "Ugh, nasty. We'll need to disinfect everything after this." Her coat provided protection from the cold, but not for any gross creepy crawlies that infected this place. How she wished she had the foresight to bring gloves.

Shuddering for a different reason, Amber's attention was brought back to the nest of bones at her feet. She nudged the drapes further away with her toe and gasped.

"Oh god, I think I found it."

Turned sideways, a nearly intact skull stared straight at her ankles, mouth unhinged and missing multiple teeth. The shape certainly looked human. A horrified sense of dread filled her. Amber jumped back, wanting to put more distance between herself and the skull. Her foot got caught in the heavy fabric and she went down hard, a cut off yelp echoing across the room. Shit shit shit. She rubbed against her sore backside, just her luck really. Reaching forward, Amber checked her phone. No cracks. She sighed in relief.

No truer words had ever been spoken, for she was sure that the second she got home from this little adventure, she was going to scrub every inch of her body not only once but twice, if not even more than that. Tossing the drugs onto the desk nearby, Natasha was hardly expected what came from Ambers mouth next, eyes unknowingly flashing blue at the yelp, as her head whipped towards the skull that Amber had found.

It appeared human, and Natasha highly doubted there were any wild apes just roaming around Colorado for it to be anything else. Offering a hand towards Amber, Natasha tried not to think of what this could possibly mean. "I think it's best we report this." She murmured, heart quickening with all the nerves of the situation surrounding them.

She had wanted an adventure, yes, but maybe this was just a tad bit too much.

Amber felt herself nodding, even if words currently failed her. The air felt much colder from her position on the ground and after shaking off some chills managed to stand back up on wobbly legs.

Phone clutched to her chest, Amber stepped closer to Natasha. "Yeah, we should tell the police." She dared another glance at the bones, clenching her jaw tight.

Against the odds, Amber hoped the bones turned out to be a hoax. A clever prank played by some dumb college kids with it being so close to Halloween. Amber would much rather file a police report and be proven wrong than face a much more horrible truth.

She sent up a silent prayer. Not for herself as she wasn't religious, but just in case the person hidden beneath those drapes had been.

Yeah, Natasha almost forgot the police where even a thing, especially when things like this occurred, they definitely needed to be called. "Yeah, I'll call them when I get home." She murmured, it felt strangely loud now in the otherwise empty house, Natasha more than ready to be making her way out of the murky and dark place.

"Lets get out of here." Pulling at Amber, she didn't really want to leave the girl in the creepfest of a house either.

She let herself be pulled along, eyes flickering back every few seconds to the window.

"Hey, let's exchange numbers. You can text me when you make it home safe." Amber kept her voice steady. She could wait until she was safe in bed before freaking out about tonight.

Once they were safe out of the house, Natasha allowed herself to breathe normally again, taking in a huge gulp of the cool air, before turning back to Amber. "Yeah, sure thing." She would then open and hand her phone over to the girl, allowing her to place her number in before sending a text with her name to the other to allow her to save her number.

"I'll let you know what the police say." She murmured, waving towards the girl, before moving to head towards her car, ready to go home and just shower away all of what happened in that house.


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